Well, at least it wasn’t any kind of soul-crushing, walk-off loss.

Today’s game didn’t look like a good one for the Cubs on paper, and it played out that way, but not quite for the reasons we may have thought. Carlos Villanueva was intermittently effective – hitting his spots, getting some swings and misses – and horribly ineffective – leaving pitches up over the plate, right in the kill zone. He was the victim of a couple tappers that led to a few runs, but, for the most part, he gave up a ton of runs because he got hit hard.

The Cubs did some nice things against Adam Wainwright, all things considered, and Starlin Castro flashed some great leather throughout the game. Nate Schierholtz popped another couple doubles. So that was good. Chris Rusin, outside of the inning he first entered the game, pitched well in long relief. Also good.

But, in the end …

april 12 box

Full box score.

  • HislersHero

    Glad I shut the radio off when I did.

  • HislersHero

    Has there been an update about Olt’s shoulder?

    • Fresno Cubs Fan

      Olt played third base, so it must be OK.

      • HislersHero

        Ah, I should have looked at the box score. I only knew Valbuena started at third.

  • lnfihDeL

    Castro with another 2 hits.

    I think he might be back.

    • Don Eaddy

      Him and Rizzo have been playing very well. Im cautiously optimistic.

  • Medicos

    Rusin looked awfully good today in his 5-inning relief stint. If he doesn’t replace Villanueva in the starting rotation, he should certainly help Russell in the bullpen in the 7th-8th innings.

    Soriano just sent Castro a message about meeting for dinner Mon. nite in NY at Tavern On The Green. That’s a decent way to continue his long distance mentoring program.

    Isn’t it amazing the quality players the Yankees add to their roster so that they can continue to be a contending team year after year: Roberts, Ellsbury, Sori, Sabathia, McCann, Thorton, Pineda, Beltran, Damon, Ichiro, etc. Hopefully someday the Cubs FO will have the $$$$$$$ from future broadcasting rights to do exactly what NY does.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      It is early yet, but so far the Yankees haven’t fared all that differently than the Cubs. The Cubs trail the Yanks by just one game in the loss column, and right now are even in run differential.

      • ShootTheGoat

        Luke, I’m at the Smokies game tonight. Is there a way I can send some pics and videos to you?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Sure. Email them to brett at bleachernation. He’ll take it from there.

    • JM

      I thought that place closed…

  • hawkboy64

    It wasn’t the loss tht bothered me so much it was the decision making in tht 5th inning from rizzo throwing to third instead of taking the out tht was given to valbuena throwing home instead of taking the out that as given again thd cubs themselves added 3 runs to that inning .

    • wkranz

      This was the biggest concern for me as well. If Rizzo just takes the out they are trying to give, it seems like the whole inning and in turn game could have been different. Not that we were getting a W, but it certainly would have been closer.

  • JonKneeV

    Thinking Veras was good is basically the cheerleader effect from being on the Astros right?

  • candyland07

    It was a bad game but glad to see Rizzo and Castro hit.

  • David

    At least we have had a few positives in every game we’ve played this year.

  • jp3

    Almora having a nice night so far, 2-2 with a double, HR, and stolen base… Rob Z-man throwing a nice game so far as well in Daytona.

  • ShootTheGoat

    Kris Bryant just hit a game tying Home Run. Monster shot.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I have a smilez.

      • KHRSS

        Double and HR for him tonight. Almora also had a double and HR.

        • Jon

          I’d prompt him to AA today. High A is no challenge for him

          • Mike

            Probably true that he could handle AA with no problem right now. However, most of his damage so far has been against left handed pitching. He hasn’t done much of anything against righties. Might need to that change first.

  • Threat Level Midnight

    Any reason Baez is out of the lineup for the second straight day?

    • Jon

      Back issues

  • Jon


    According to the cub reporter, Soler was grabbing his hamstring again today. FFFFUUUCCCC…

    • Jason P

      “He did eventually return for one five-pitch round, however, facing 19-year old Venezuelan RHP Adbert Alzolay (the other pitcher who threw a “live” BP session prior to the game).”

      • KHRSS

        Chances are 1 or 2 of the big four will not reach the majors if Soler can’t stay healthy it looks like it might be him.

        At least there is good news on Pierce Johnson:

        “I would think this will probably be Johnson’s last EXST outing, and so I would not be surprised to see him get a start for AA Tennessee next Friday. “

        • Drew7

          Eh, its probably likely that they all make it, just not that all 4 will be good/great once they get there.

    • Ron

      Did you see the attendance at the bottom, 9!

      • Jon

        Wow, the White Sox drew that well today ?

  • Truely Blue

    Lighten up folks. It wasn’t all bad! I don’t recall a single sacrifice bunt today but I confess to switching between the Cub game and the Masters.

  • RITZ

    Major oops! Veras gone sooner than the ink dried on your perspective.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Other than the starting pitching the game was decent. Great day for the minor leagues overall.

  • Medicos

    Just 13-hours until the first pitch. Cubs haven’t won a series since 9-11. Let’s win today and fly into NY for a 2-game series against the Bronx Bombers.